Watching anime in the West can be difficult, as most anime are only available on certain platforms. Some of these platforms cost money to use, and others can be used for free.
There are quite a few different anime platforms these days, as anime has risen in popularity in the last decade or so. Here are some of the best anime streaming apps that feature some of your favourite anime titles.
Best app to watch anime
We’ll go through five of the best apps for watching anime, taking into consideration the price, content, and features.
#5 – Amazon Prime Video
Amazon isn’t the first option people think of when considering anime shows, but it’s definitely worth checking out if you love quality anime.
It actually has a massive library filled with popular anime titles that you can watch online. This includes old shows like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon and many Dragon Ball Z titles on the platform too.
It also has classic titles that are considered to be some of the best anime shows of all time – this includes Death Note and Demon Slayer, which make Amazon Prime Video worth signing up for alone.
There are also various films like Your Name, My Hero Academia and the original Ghost in the Shell too. So, Amazon is a great option if you’re looking for anime streaming apps that have both new and classic anime on the platform.
#4 – YouTube
If you’re looking for free anime apps that you can use, it may be worth sticking with YouTube to start with.
Despite not having all of the premium anime shows you may be interested in, there’s definitely some popular anime series you can find on the platform – this includes the Forgotten Neverland, which is a great place to start.
One of the best things about using YouTube for anime is that you can download anime videos to watch later on your device. This means that if you’re going on a flight, you can save your favourite anime shows to watch in offline mode.
If you aren’t yet sold on anime in general then starting with YouTube is a good idea, as it’s still one of the best streaming apps with a wide catalogue of content for you to consume. Plus, the ability to watch anime offline is a massive advantage.
#3 – Netflix
Price: £5.99 per month, or £9.99 per month, or £13.99 per month.
Netflix offers three different monthly subscription plans. They all differ slightly in terms of benefits. They all offer unlimited content, and allow you to watch on different devices.
The standard plan allows you to watch Netflix on two different devices simultaneously, whilst the premium plan allows the same but on four different devices.
Additionally, the standard plan allows you to have downloads on two different devices, whilst the premium plan allows the same but on four different devices.
The standard and premium plans also offer HD, and only the premium plan offers Ultra HD.
Netflix cannot be used unless you subscribe to a monthly plan, and there are no free trials available.
This makes it difficult to determine whether the service is worth paying for, since there’s no way to try the platform out for free.
Netflix, whilst not primarily being an anime platform, offers quite a range of different anime. Such anime include One Punch Man, Hunter x Hunter, and Soul Eater.
Netflix also has quite a few Netflix original anime, such as Aggretsuko and Devilman Crybaby; although these anime are not produced by Netflix themselves. These anime are exclusive to Netflix.
Netflix allows you to alter the appearance of subtitles in terms of size, font, shadow, and background colour. This means that users don’t have to worry about struggling to see subtitles.
They can change them to suit their preference. Other anime platforms, such as Funimation and Crunchyroll, don’t provide these options.
Overall, Netflix is a good place for watching anime as they offer a fairly large collection of anime, and have anime that are exclusive to their platform.
The platform also allows you to edit the appearance of subtitles, which helps ensure that viewers can easily read the subtitles.
You must pay in order to use the service, so Netflix is not for those who wish for a free anime streaming service.
#2 – Funimation
Price: £4.99 per month, or £49.99 per year (approx. £4.17 per month) & a 14-day free trial for all plans.
As of March 2022, the Funimation library is going to be merged into the Crunchyroll app, which is fantastic news for anime fans looking for more variety from just one subscription – having both Crunchyroll and Funimation merged together can only be good for the anime scene.
There are two subscription plans for Funimation, which differ only in price. The two plans offer the same benefits.
The benefits are include an ad-free viewing experience, access to all anime content, access to all subtitles and dubs, the ability to stream simultaneously on 5 different devices, and downloadable content (only on the Funimation app).
Unfortunately, you can’t download any episodes on Windows/PC.
Funimation is a great platform for watching anime. The app has a large collection of anime TV shows and movies, and uploads new content a few hours after their Japanese release.
Funimation offers anime in both subs and dubs, but primarily specialises in dubbed anime.
Funimation is best used as a paid service, since they make most episodes unavailable for free users. Some series are completely locked for free users, such as Naruto, K-On!, and Re:ZERO. All of their episodes are only accessible to premium users.
There’s also many anime, which have some episodes unlocked for free. These mostly refer to the first few episodes of an anime, or all of a first season.
Examples of such shows are Free!, Attack on Titan, and Black Clover.
Nonetheless, there are still some anime that are completely free to watch on Funimation. For example, Fate/Zero and Fruit Basket have all their episode available for free. These free anime are fairly uncommon on Funimation.
The platform also has a tab for extras, where you can view bonus content in the extras. The bonus content usually consists of trailers, behind the scenes, and previews.
This provides users an easy way of viewing bonus material for anime.
Overall, Funimation is a great platform for watching dubbed anime. They have a large anime collection, and do offer content for free users.
It’s not the best app for those who don’t wish to pay a subscription fee, but it can be used by non-paying users.
Funimation is also a good place for keeping up-to-date with anime, as they release episodes a few hours after the Japanese release. It’s not the platform that updates the fastest, but it’s still pretty quick.
#1 – Crunchyroll
Price: £6.50 per month, or £7.99 per month, or £79.99 per year (approx. £6.67 per month) – & a 14-day free trial for all plans.
Crunchyroll has three subscription plans, which vary in both benefits and cost. The cheapest plan is FAN plan.
It offers ad-free access to anime, access to all Crunchyroll content, access to new content an hour after their release in Japan, access to Crunchyroll’s digital manga collection (in English only), and streaming on one device at any given time.
The second plan is the MEGA FAN monthly plan, which offers the same things as the FAN plan, but with the additions benefits of simultaneous streaming on 4 different devices, and downloadable content (only on the Crunchyroll app).
The third plan is the MEGA FAN yearly plan, which offers the same things as the MEGA FAN monthly plans, but at a lower cost per month overall.
Crunchyroll is a great platform for watching anime. The app has a large collection of anime TV shows and movies, and uploads new content an hour after their Japanese release.
Crunchyroll offers anime in both subs and dubs, but primarily specialises in subbed anime.
Unlike Funimation, Crunchyroll makes most anime episodes free to watch. This makes the platform a much better anime app for non-paying users. The only episodes locked for free users are new ones that have recently been uploaded.
Fortunately, this is not permanent. These episodes become available for free after a week has passed.
Crunchyroll has tabs, where people can reviews and comments on anime episodes. This allows users to express their thoughts on different anime, and can help others decide whether an anime is worth watching.
Overall, Crunchyroll is a great place for watching anime soon after their release in Japan, as they update episodes an hour after their Japanese release. Crunchyroll is the fastest at releasing anime content.
For those who wish to keep up with series, Crunchyroll is a good platform to use. The platform is also an ideal place for watching subbed anime, and is a good app for those who don’t wish to pay a subscription fee to watch anime.
You can also use a guest pass on Crunchyroll to let your friends test the premium service out without paying a feee beforehand too.
Crunchyroll doesn’t lock anime episodes for free users, but there will be ads that appear during episodes.
There are usually two adverts per episode. Although, you can prevent ads when using Crunchyroll on the website; by using an ad blocker.
In conclusion, there are quite a few apps for watching anime these days. Most apps are free to download, but cost money to use (or to use ad-free).
If you’re looking to try out an anime-watching app, download Funimation or Crunchyroll. They’re both free to download and use, and offer free trials with each subscription plan.
If you’re looking for a more flexible app in terms of usage, try using Netflix. The platform is not solely for watching anime. It also offers non-anime TV shows and movies, from live-action content to cartoons.